'Why not?' Montrealers embracing Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales

According to one survey, Quebec consumers will spend an average of $342 each, which amounts to some $946 million over the next four days.

Quebec consumers will spend approximately $946M by Monday, according to survey

From left, Omar Ali, Mohammed Baba, Saul Delgado and Sarah Chaput wait outside the H&M Ste-Catherine and Peel streets to take advantage of Black Friday deals. (Lauren McCallum/CBC)

When it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, it took some time for Quebec retailers to really start following the lead of their American counterparts.

But that's not the case anymore, and a new survey shows that more and more Quebecers are embracing the sales that have become the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season.

Market research company L'Observateur surveyed 950 Quebec consumers in the first week of November to find out just how popular the shopping trend has gotten in the province.

Michelle Rivard, president of the firm, says the percentage of Quebecers who take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales has jumped by 20 per cent over last year.

"What we found this year is that consumers tell us that they will spend approximately $342 on average, which makes $946 million of spending that will occur from today until next Monday."

And that doesn't count sales that began before Friday, she said. All sorts of retailers selling things ranging from home decor stores, to sports equipment, clothing and cosmetics are getting on the bandwagon.

​Saul Delgado decided to check out the sales with a friend, and lined up in front of a popular clothing store on Ste-Catherine Street at 4 a.m. to take advantage of a door-crasher promotion.

"She saw the offer and I was just like, let's do it! Why not?"

It's his first Black Friday experience, and he was ready for the deals. But he wasn't expecting the cold.

"I wasn't prepared for this."

Sticking to the traditional way

Pierrefonds resident Vanessa Parasuco Borsellino is taking a break from the Black Friday madness this year — kind of.

Usually, she'd be in Plattsburgh, N.Y., or Burlington, Vt., right now, crossing off items from her gift list. She's seen fights break out in front of her and experienced most of the madness synonymous with this retail bonanza.

But she just had a baby boy three weeks ago, so she's been partaking in the Black Friday sales from her computer instead.

She said she enjoys the tradition and finds the "hoopla" to be fun.

"I think that it's wonderful that it's coming to Canada because all of our stores are really suffering, and if this is something they can bring in to boost their sales, why not?"
Shoppers search for deals at Fairview Pointe Claire mall. (Kate McKenna/CBC)

She said she's missing the thrill she usually gets being in the store in the middle of it all, and plans to be back out there next year with her husband and sons in tow.

With files from Lauren McCallum and CBC Montreal's Daybreak